LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) - Drinks giant Diageo is to invest over 1 billion
pounds ($1.5 billion) in scotch whisky production over the next five years to meet growing demand from the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa and create hundreds of new jobs.
The maker of Johnnie Walker, J&B and Bells whisky brands said it plans to build a new malt distillery, expand a number of its other distilleries and develop plans for a second new distillery if global demand is sustained at expected level.
The group, which is the largest producer of scotch whisky with around a third of the market, added on Wednesday that it also plans to invest in substantial new whisky warehouses.
Diageo Chief Executive Paul Walsh said its brands had achieved sustained growth over recent years from Boston to Beijing, led by its top brand Johnnie Walker.
'We expect that success to continue, particularly in the high growth markets around the world, which is why we are announcing this major investment in scotch whisky production, committing over 1 billion pounds in the next five years, to seize that opportunity for global growth,' he said in a statement. ($1 = 0.6506 British pounds)
(Reporting by David Jones) Keywords: DIAGEO WHISKY/
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